Social Responsibility

The Department of Economics at the University of Zurich is a leading European research center that represents a wide range of research interests in all areas of economics, including econometrics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and neuroeconomics. The research conducted at the department has an interdisciplinary focus, combining modern economics with elements from history, political science, psychology, biology, and sociology. We encourage high-ranking, innovative, and ethically sensitive science, which is also reflected in our teaching.

Responsibility in teaching and research

In the field of macroeconomics, we aim to provide students with the skills necessary to understand macroeconomic phenomena such as growth and globalization and to analyze related long-term problems of economic policy. Our courses handle issues of income distribution and tax and monetary policies. Research focuses on key, globally relevant economic questions that have a first-order impact on people’s lives: poverty, economic fluctuations and crises, inequality, unemployment, fiscal and monetary policy, etc.

The field of microeconomics examines advanced game-theory and informational-economics techniques for the analysis of strategic situations. In our courses, these methods are applied to subjects such as competition policy and regulation, the organization of auctions as well as to management issues such as the internal organization of companies. Research approaches such as the structural methodology are powerful tools for policy analysis. They can be used to evaluate alternative health policies, such as providing monetary incentives for healthy behavior or caring for the elderly.

In the field of neuroeconomics emphasis is placed on enabling students to understand mathematical models that describe the computational and neuronal mechanisms of decision-making, preference formation, and learning. The broad vision of research is to advance the understanding of decision-making and learning. A long term research goal is to guide the diagnosis and treatment of learning and decision-making pathologies, and inform normative institutional design in order to promote optimal decision-making at the individual and societal levels.